GM’s extended warranty increases your standard coverage period, but is it enough?
Whether you’re looking at a new Buick, GMC, Chevy, or Cadillac, General Motors’ extended warranty offers something unique to the market. That’s because the GM extended warranty is a true extension of GM’s bumper-to-bumper warranty that comes with your new car, rather than a vehicle service contract.
We’ve explored the ins and outs of GM’s extended warranty and will break it down for you below. Like other factory warranties, the GM warranty may expire well before you’re finished driving your car, and that’s just one of the reasons you might consider an extended warranty from a third-party provider like Endurance, CarShield, or CARCHEX. But remember, not all warranties are created equal. We’ve investigated all major third-party warranty brands and ranked the best extended car warranty providers on factors like coverage options and customer service.
We strongly encourage you to get several quotes so that you can compare coverage and prices. Get a free quote from our top provider picks below.
In this article:
- GM Extended Warranty Overview
- What Is And Isn’t Covered Under The GM Extended Warranty?
- GM Protection Plans
- Will GM’s Extended Warranty Work For You?
- Protecting GM Vehicles With Third-Party Warranties
- Final Thoughts: GM Extended Warranty
GM Extended Warranty Overview
GM’s Extended Limited Warranty gives new buyers the option to add two years of bumper-to-bumper coverage to their factory warranty. The covered components are the same for both the factory warranty and the GM extended warranty. Here’s how the term lengths look for the four brands in GM’s family:
||Standard Warranty||Extended Limited Warranty|
|Chevrolet||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|GMC||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Buick (2020 and newer models)||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Buick (2018–2019 models)||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Cadillac||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
As you can see, Buick is a special case. New 2018 and 2019 models come with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, while 2020 and newer models receive a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. Either way, GM’s extended warranty option adds two years to the base term. Chevrolet and GMC vehicles both come with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty, while Cadillac comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.
What Is And Isn’t Covered Under The GM Extended Warranty?
GM extended warranty coverage includes damage due to defects in materials or workmanship and provides for repairs with GM factory parts. There is no deductible for repairs, and you can take your vehicle to any of the brand’s dealerships to get the work done.
GM’s extended warranty covers the parts of your car that don’t wear with use. These include the electronics, air conditioning, and safety systems. Examples of items that are not covered include:
- Slight noises or vibrations
- Cracks or chips in the exterior paint
- Damage to the finish of a truck bed liner
- Wear items like tires and brake pads
- Routine maintenance services
The key idea here is defects in materials or workmanship. If the radio stops working out of the blue, that would be covered. If your air conditioning started blasting hot air when it should be cold, that’s covered. However, if the person next to you in the grocery store parking lot opens their door a bit too far and scratches your car, that’s not covered. Also, if you load the bed of your truck with weight and then notice the finish is wearing away at the edges, that isn’t covered either.
Recalls are always covered by the manufacturer, whether a car is under warranty or not. However, it doesn’t look good when GM has to recall almost 3.5 million Cadillacs, Chevys, and GMCs for possible brake issues.
Does GM’s Extended Warranty Cover Roadside Assistance?
Choosing to extend your factory warranty with GM won’t affect roadside assistance. However, GM provides roadside assistance to new model cars for the length of the powertrain warranty. For Chevy and GMC owners, that’s 5 years or 60,000 miles. For Cadillac owners, that’s 6 years or 70,000 miles. With Buick, 2019 models come with 6 years or 70,000 miles of roadside assistance, while 2020 and newer models come with 5 years or 60,000 miles.
Owning GM’s Extended Warranty
Remember, GM’s Extended Limited Warranty is a bit different from extended warranties offered by other manufacturers. It extends everything in the bumper-to-bumper warranty for another two years. It doesn’t add or take away anything. That means all parts come from the manufacturer, and all work is done by GM. You don’t have to worry about paying for a repair and waiting for reimbursement since it’s all handled by the same company.
There is a catch, though. Your only option to purchase GM’s extended warranty is at the time you buy your vehicle. Unlike other extended warranties on the market, you can’t drive around for a few months and then decide you want to add the warranty. You have to make that decision before you get the keys. Depending on which car you purchase, a GM extended warranty will add between $1,000 and $2,000 to the total cost. This cost can be rolled up into your monthly payment.
When it comes time to sell your car, the warranty is fully transferrable. On this point, GM aligns with the crowd since most manufacturers tie their warranties to the vehicle identification number (VIN) and not the owner.
A Mixed Bag
While it’s nice to know that an extended warranty through GM provides for repairs by the manufacturer, the warranty still doesn’t cover a whole lot. This type of warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship for up to 6 years or 70,000 miles. At that point, most cars are still in good condition. It may be that you end up using the warranty for a faulty system, or you don’t use it at all.
Perhaps the biggest drawback with GM’s extended warranty is that you have to purchase it at the point of sale. You can’t think about it and add it later. This is different than the purchasing process for many other extended warranties.
GM Protection Plans
In addition to extending the factory warranty, GM also offers Protection Plans in line with the extended warranties offered by most other manufacturers. The plans are technically vehicle service contracts, though they are commonly called extended warranties.
One example is the GM Extended Warranty Major Guard, which is part of the company’s Protection Plan offerings. Depending on the different GM brands, a Protection Plan can come in three levels. From highest to lowest coverage, these levels are Major Guard, Value Guard, and Basic Guard. GM also offers a Platinum Protection Plan to augment vehicle protection after the factory warranty expires.
Term lengths range from 24 months/24,000 miles to 60 months/60,000 miles, and more than 1,000 parts are covered. GM Protection Plans also come with added benefits such as rental car coverage, towing services, and lockout services.
Will GM’s Extended Warranty Work For You?
Maybe you’ve found a car that you really like, and you plan to have it for a few years. It’s a Chevy and you decide to add the extended factory warranty. Now you have 5 years or 60,000 miles of coverage. Five years sounds like a lot, but don’t forget that the mileage could expire first. Recent data shows that men between 35 and 54 drive over 18,000 miles on average in a year. At that rate, you’d burn through the warranty in just over three years.
In J.D. Power’s 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study, Buick and Chevrolet ranked highly, taking the third and ninth spots out of 32 brands. The study looked at the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles from each brand. Each car was three years old, and owners recorded any issues they had in the past 12 months.
Cadillac ranked above the industry average in position 12, but GMC didn’t fare so well. GMC finished toward the bottom of the list at 28th. According to the study, GMC vehicles exhibited 162 problems per 100 vehicles. Overall, however, GM brands did well. The Buick Encore, Buick Regal, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Chevrolet Tahoe all won segment awards.
The cost of GM’s extended warranty is somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000, and that only adds two years to the coverage. For a similar price, there are third-party options that offer much more coverage.
Protecting GM Vehicles With Third-Party Warranties
With third-party extended protection, coverage for your GM vehicle can last well beyond 100,000 miles. Some vehicle service contracts also include roadside assistance options and let you go to any repair shop you want.
In our research of top third-party extended warranties, we reviewed the companies for six factors:
- Coverage options
- Customer service
- Additional perks
Within those categories, we took note of money-back guarantees, whether a company had a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation or rating, and the number of Trustpilot and Google reviews it had.
GM Coverage With Endurance
While there are many good options for vehicle service contract providers on the market, some rise above others. In our view, the one at the top of the list is Endurance. We found this provider to have the best combination of coverage options and value.
A few things set this company apart from the competition. Endurance is a direct provider, which means that warranty services and claims are handled directly by Endurance. There is no middleman or underwriting provider.
Endurance offers six coverage plans:
- Select Premier: Coverage for high-mileage vehicles with a fairly extensive inclusion list that focuses on the powertrain.
- Secure: Endurance’s most basic auto warranty that only covers parts of the powertrain.
- Secure Plus: Mid-level warranty with a short waiting period of only 30 days or 1,000 miles.
- Superior Coverage: High-tier comprehensive plan provides with coverage for hundreds of listed parts.
- Supreme Coverage: Endurance's exclusionary, bumper-to-bumper warranty.
- EnduranceAdvantage™: Covers mechanical breakdowns as well as maintenance, like oil changes, engine diagnostics, and brake pad replacements.
Coverage extends to 200,000+ miles. This is much longer than most manufacturer's extended warranties. Endurance also pays all repair costs directly to the repair facility, so you won't have to front the money for a costly repair. Some companies require you to pay the tab upfront and wait to be reimbursed, but that’s not the case here.
GM Coverage With CarShield
Another company that made it to the top of our list is CarShield, which we named as the Best Value provider. CarShield is a very popular provider, and the company has garnered over 15,000 reviews on Trustpilot alone. CarShield is also popular throughout the media, having been featured on networks like CNN, TBS, HGTV, and ESPN.
Here’s what CarShield’s six different plan tiers look like:
- Silver: Base-level coverage for crucial components
- Gold: Enhanced powertrain coverage that adds the water pump, starter, and more
- Platinum: Inclusive coverage for cars with higher mileage
- Diamond: Continues factory-level coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty
- High Tech: Specifically for vehicles with advanced tech
- Specialty: Coverage tailored for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles
We like that CarShield has special coverage options for high-tech vehicles. These vehicles can have thousands of dollars of equipment that a standard warranty might not cover. Alongside that, CarShield has a plan that’s unique for motorcycles and ATVs. These plans set the company apart from its competitors. For a deeper breakdown, check out our comparison between CARCHEX and CarShield.
GM Coverage With CARCHEX
CARCHEX is our pick for Best for Used Cars. While it’s an account broker – meaning it connects you with companies that service your warranty – it pays repair costs directly to the shop. Speaking of shops, CARCHEX also lets you go to any shop you like, which is another bonus. Plus, all Carchex plans include perks like roadside assistance and lockout service.
As far as coverage goes, here’s what the five plans look like:
- Bronze: Up to six years of coverage, basic coverage for important components
- Silver: Up to seven years of coverage, good for high-mileage vehicles, much more than a powertrain warranty
- Gold: Up to 10 years of coverage, best for cars with more than 60,000 miles, most major components are covered
- Platinum: Up to 10 years of coverage, all main systems are covered
- Titanium: Up to 10 years of coverage, covers everything except a small number of excluded items
How far can you go on a CARCHEX vehicle service contract? The coverage tops out at 250,000 miles, which is significantly higher than any manufacturer’s warranty. We aren’t the only ones who noticed the value CARCHEX provides to drivers.
The company has BBB accreditation with an A+ rating and is supported by industry leaders like CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.com. Compared with GM’s extended warranty, you have more flexibility and better coverage options.
|GM Extended Warranty||Endurance||CARCHEX||CarShield|
|Max Length of Coverage||6 years/70,000 miles||8 years/200,000+ miles||10 years/250,000 miles||200,000 miles|
|# of Plan Options||2||6||5||6|
$0 or $100
|Repair Network||Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac dealers only||Repair facilities certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®)||> 30,000 facilities nationwide||ASE-certified repair facilities|
|Cancellation Policy||Refund if within 60 days||Refund if within 30 days||Refund if within 30 days||Refund if within 30 days|
|Availability||From local dealer||Free, instant quote||Free, instant quote||Free, instant quote|
|Contact your GM Dealer for Pricing||
Final Thoughts: GM Extended Warranty
The age and mileage of your car can have an impact on the kinds of rates you can find, so it’s a good idea to shop for quotes early in the game. Don’t wait until your GM factory warranty runs out to put a plan in place.
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